Was Twitter’s 280 Character Limit Increase Enough to Turn a Profit?
There were many comments and concerns in the wake of Twitter’s most recent update of a doubled character limit. We here at Onimod Global gave our two cents on the update in our article, “Twitter Launches New 280 Character Limit: Good or Bad Move?”
But the real question is, was it enough to make the platform profitable? The answers can be found in the latest quarterly report from Twitter.
As to be expected, no one really liked the switch from 140 characters to 280. One article from Adweek shared the opinions of many disgruntled users like Lou Paskalis who said, “This will pretty much end Twitter if instituted. Really really bad idea!”
Opposition like Lou’s was very common around the Twitter-sphere and beyond. Selena Larson of CNN Tech expressed her disagreement in her article “More is less: The case against 280 character tweets”.
Larson highlighted the thoughts of users and how many feel that the 140 limit actually helped make them more concise and creative. Haught Tromp agreed with this logic by saying, “It can be intellectually challenging but creatively stimulating to fit words in a confined space.”
New Quarterly Report
The much anticipated Q3 report from Twitter has finally been released. Many were waiting upon this report to see if the increased character limit would be enough to give Twitter the positive results the platform was looking for in its bottom line.
Well, the results are in. An article from techcrunch.com summarized Twitter’s quarterly report. At a glance, it appears that Twitter has outdone itself.
Originally, the company projected revenues of $586.73 million but actually reported revenues of $590 million. Although this is an improvement from the previous quarter, the $590 million is still 4% lower than they were in Q3 of last year.
In addition to these quarterly statistics, Twitter also shared some bad news about their monthly active users.
They released the following statement about the MAU issue: “We discovered that since the fourth quarter of 2014 we had included users of certain third-party applications as Twitter MAUs that should not have been considered MAUs,” Twitter noted. “These third-party applications used Digits, a software development kit of our now-divested Fabric platform, that allowed third-party applications to send authentication messages via SMS through our systems, which did not relate to activity on the Twitter platform. The table below presents the impact for the periods beginning in the fourth quarter of 2016. Due to our data retention policies, we do not have data to reconcile periods prior to the fourth quarter of 2016, but our estimates suggest the prior period adjustments are smaller than those in the fourth quarter of 2016.”
Many Twitter staff members had hoped for the platform to see an increase in engagement from users with their new 280 character limit. Now that the data has been gathered and finalized, we can see its true results.
Although Twitter was able to temporarily increase their engagement rates and revenues, there are still huge problems on the horizon for the social media platform that we will come to see in future months.